Careers Support Programme

The objective of the Careers Support Programme is to support and empower students with disabilities in the transition from second level to third level and from university level to employment.  We advise and assist students in researching their choice of degree programme and their career opportunities.  As a student with a disability, illness or specific learning difficulty (SpLD) there may be concerns for you when preparing to make choices.  It is both important and essential to meet with the careers advisor for students with disabilities when making such choices.

For more information on how we help students and graduates to succeed, please watch this video

  • Liaise with placement officers in Academic Departments in relation to assisting students with disabilities develop career management skills necessary to secure structured work placements, which are an integral part of certain degree programmes.
  • Support to Academic Departments with regard to issues around career guidance for students with disabilities.
  • Provide information to placement officers on accessibility issues and assistive technology that supports people with disabilities in the workplace.

Services offered to employers:

  • Access to a pool of highly skilled third level students and graduates.
  • Advice in relation to employment supports available e.g. assistive technology.
  • Advice can be provided with regard to financial incentives e.g. grants for any adaptations necessary.
  • Disability Awareness Training.
  • Ongoing support of both employee and employer if necessary.

Why employ graduates with disabilities?

Many graduates with disabilities have overcome significant barriers to reach third level education, and are often highly motivated, flexible and creative and bring these strengths to the workplace.

Positive outcomes and organisational benefits:

  • Attendance, punctuality and productivity levels equal to if not better than their able-bodied peers.
  • Rise in staff morale due in part to the organisations visible commitment to employing people with different needs.
  • Positive Community Image - customers respond favourably towards organisations positive to disability.

A list of the DSS guidelies, publications and forms is available from this link

DSS Ezine


See inside for information on the services provided by the Disability Support Service and AT Support



See inside for information on DSS Employer Event, Employability Service Cork, and the Learning+ programme



See inside for information on the L.I.F.E. programme, Mental Health Awareness Week, and Resources for Education (RED)



See inside for information on the Integrated Physical Activity Programme (IPAP), and the Mindfulness Group



See inside for information on the DSS Summer Internship Pilot Project


Student Experience News 

ISSUE 1 November 2014

Disability Confident Seminar


The Disability Support Service held a “Disability Confident” seminar on Tuesday 26th January from 10am to 1pm.  The event featured 4 different speakers and was attended by 30 employers which included Abbott, Logitech, Citi, PepsiCo, Grant Thornton, Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific, EMC, GSK, and State Street among others.  Some 25 students registered with the Disability Support Service in UCC also attended, as well as a smaller number of representatives from disability support organisations such as Aspect and Employability Cork.  One of the primary aims of the seminar was to begin a conversation with all of the key stakeholders around recruitment and disability.  In addition the session was an opportunity to launch a number of DSS initiatives: A Summer Internship Programme for Students with a Disability; A Mentoring Programme for Students with a Disability; as well as reporting on a Survey on Graduate Employment which was undertaken by the DSS in 2014.  The full line up of speakers and the focus of their presentations was as follows:


  • Mary Quirke , Assistant Director, Association for Higher Education Access & Disability


Mary Quirke provided information on the WAM Programme (Willing Able Mentoring) which is a graduate employment programme for graduates with a disability. Mary provided information on how the programme works and how other employers can get involved and facilitate such a programme.


Mary also gave a presentation on the issue of Disclosure which is an issue both in terms of students disclosing, and HR professionals who need to facilitate and deal effectively with the process of disclosure.


  • Shay Nolan, Careers Advisor for Students with Disabilities, Disability Support Service, UCC


Shay Nolan introduced the initiatives being developed by the Disability Support Service. The DSS Summer Internship Programme encourages employers to engage in the programme by making a summer internship available to a student with a disability. Some may be experienced in hiring placement students and graduates, others may not, but what is most important is the availability of meaningful work experience for students.


The DSS Mentoring Programme is a programme that can work along side or completely independent of the Summer Internship Programme. An important element of this support is to help students to develop crucial employability skills so that they may be better equipped to make a successful transition from college to the workplace.


  • Elaine Fennessey, HR Partner at Abbott Ireland


Elaine Fennessey is a HR Partner with Abbott who have been involved with the WAM programme for the past 13 years. Elaine spoke about their experience of facilitating graduate opportunities for graduates with a disability and about the positive impact this has had on the company.


  • David Field, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Logitech, Cork


David told the story of his personal journey from student to professional life. He had a unique perspective at the seminar in that he was a student registered with the DSS and is now involved in the recruitment process as a Talent Acquisition Specialist for Logitech. David shared his experience as a graduate looking for work and faced with the issue of disclosure and his experience today as a recruiter so he had a great insight from both sides of the recruitment table.



Group Discussion:

The final part of the session involved group discussions around some key issues related to recruitment and disability. Both employers and students discussed these issues which included making the recruitment process more inclusive of applicants with a disability; and disclosure. The mix of employers and students in each group allowed for some important perspective and open conversations between the most important stakeholders.  This exercise resulted in a discussion document being produced which will be important in giving direction for future seminars and which will also support the development of the DSS initiatives.



The seminar also provided a great networking opportunity and again students took advantage of this opportunity. A number of students had come well prepared with CV’s which were passed on to the employers. The employers noted that they were very impressed with the students they spoke with. The feedback from the attending employers was also very positive which bodes well for the future of the DSS Employability initiatives. With that in mind the “Disability Confident” seminar has started a conversation with employers around recruitment and disability that will continue in to the future. 


Discussion Document from Disability Confident Seminar

DSS Graduate Recruitment Report

The DSS recently launched a Summer Internship Programme that will see up to 8 students registered with the DSS working in paid internships in the summer of 2017. The employers involved in the programme are Eli Lilly, DePuy (Johnson & Johnson, Janssen), and HedgServ.

In summary the available internships are:


Eli Lilly – The internship with Eli Lilly is not a defined role as yet. The company are looking for the “right person” and will appoint this person to a role that suits them best so there is no job description for the position. The role will be based in their Business Solutions Centre and so will likely be administrative or customer service related. Eli Lilly have encouraged students from all academic backgrounds to apply.


DePuy – DePuy have up to 5 internships available for DSS students in summer 2017. At the moment I have broad information on 4 of the positions which will be in the following areas:


  • Materials Development
  • New Product Introduction
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Advanced Technology Development


DePuy have also encouraged students from all academic backgrounds to apply though they have pointed out that the Manufacturing Engineering and Advanced Technology Development areas would really require students from and Engineering/Science background.



HedgeServ – There are 2 internships with HedgeServ and both are Fund Accounting roles. You will find a well detailed description of the jobs on the DSS website. Again HedgeServ have encouraged students from all academic backgrounds to apply and also added that being a good problem solver is most important.




Application is by CV and cover letter to this email address

You will need to clearly state in the subject bar which role you are applying to and the closing date has now been extended to Friday 2nd December. The internships are open to students of all years and academic backgrounds so please do apply if interested.


Further Information:

Fund Accounting Internship

Depuy Synthes Job Description

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